Thursday, 23 December 2010

Friday, 12 November 2010

Suffer for my art - Madame Bink (NSFW)


I felt that having to collect Madame Bink from the airport at 08:30 was a hardship, but in perspective she left home to get her flight at 04:20. I'm getting old - I like an easy life.

The weather wasn't great (central Scotland in November: cold, windy and rainy), but we decided to chance the outdoor location for at least a little while. The results were worth it:

Madame Bink - outdoors nude Date: 12 November 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie SpenceMadame Bink - outdoors nude Date: 12 November 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

The black and white treatment on these is Faye Yerbury's suggestion of the TotallyRad "Boring Old B+W" action with a little bit of added warmth.

Back in the studio with an extra heater running to thaw her out and keep her warm we started with natural light and a couple of sets of lingerie:

Madame Bink - white lingerie Date: 12 November 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie SpenceMadame Bink - red lingerie Date: 12 November 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

Having lost the light it was time for some studio lighting:

Madame Bink - blue lingerie Date: 12 November 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

Nude with the Am Statik latex collar:
Madame Bink - nude with Am Statik latex collar Date: 12 November 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

Black Nikita Sablier corset:
Madame Bink - black Nikita Sablier corset Date: 12 November 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

Anatomic Bomb blue latex sailor dress:
Madame Bink - Anatomic Bomb blue latex sailor dress Date: 12 November 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

[Full Gallery - Madame Bink (non-nudes)]

[Full Gallery - Madame Bink (nudes)]

Friday, 15 October 2010

Integrity


I'm continually learning and to help me learn I will go on training courses - hopefully with the result of some lovely shots to show. I'm not one for group shoots, but do we occasionally participate in some of the EPS studio evenings.

For both of these, there is some part of the work for which I can't take the credit. The shot is mine and the edit is mine, but likely the lighting setup won't be mine and will be shared with other participants. While I will display work from these events, I won't be obscure about the source of the shots (and I'm certainly not going to enter them in a competition or add them to something I call a portfolio gallery).

I don't have any philosophical objections to using models in a portraiture (or even a boudoir) portfolio - those shots should be representative of the photographer's best work of in that style (and I don't see that as a bad thing).

Wedding photography portfolios are another matter - if the shots weren't taken in the context of a real wedding then they aren't really representative of their work as wedding photographer. That's important since a wedding only offers a single chance to get the shots and while a talented amateur might take some great wedding photos, you need to be able to rely on a professional to deliver on the day - regardless of the weather and all the unforeseen happenings.

That's just me though - what you see is what I take.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Radisson Blu - Superior Agency tests


Greig Middlemiss (Different Light Photography) had arranged for some models from Superior Model Management to visit the Scottish Creative Network shoot at the Radisson Blu Glasgow for some test shoots and I had the chance of a quick set with each of them while Desiree was getting ready.

Model: Cheryl Buckley / Make-up: Gill Daniell:
Model: Cheryl Buckley Make-up: Gill Daniell Agency: Superior Model Management Date: 3 October 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

Model: Sofie Burley / Make-up: Lacey Whale:
Model: Sofie Burley Make-up: Lacey Whale Agency: Superior Model Management Date: 3 October 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

Model: Julia Bell / Make-up: Gill Daniell:
Model: Julia Bell Make-up: Gill Daniell Agency: Superior Model Management Date: 3 October 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

Model: Emma Cree / Make-up: Gill Daniell:
Model: Emma Cree Make-up: Gill Daniell Agency: Superior Model Management Date: 3 October 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

These were all shot with natural light.

[Full Gallery - Superior test shoots at Radisson Blu]

Radisson Blu - Desiree Worth


Greig Middlemiss (Different Light Photography) organized the first Scottish Creative Network shoot at the Radisson Blu Glasgow.

We had access to six different locations in the hotel, but since there were five groups we were working to a schedule. To make sure that shoot time wasn't wasted I had planned and arranged two models and make-up artists, but that fell through leaving me with Desiree Worth as my model and Aileen Wallace as make-up artist (we've worked with both before).

So, a slightly stressful start to the day with a last minute cancelation by the second model and Desiree running late.

As it turned out, we all started late so it wasn't really a big problem and we got off to a good start in the "Modern" room:

These were lit with a remotely triggered flash (colour is from a gel) in the bathroom to light the glass blocks from behind and a single small/portable softbox in the room. Unfortunately a a large circular mirror is mounted on bathroom side of the glass blocks, so they've also had a significant amount of work in Photoshop to fill in the darker patch.

Model: Desiree Worth Make-up and hair: Aileen Wallace Location: Radisson Blu Glasgow Date: 3 October 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

This is one of a couple of interesting silhouettes where the flash in the softbox didn't fire:
Model: Desiree Worth Make-up and hair: Aileen Wallace Location: Radisson Blu Glasgow Date: 3 October 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

We followed on with the "City" room and a couple of different looks:

Model: Desiree Worth Make-up and hair: Aileen Wallace Location: Radisson Blu Glasgow Date: 3 October 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

After lunch we had the Corner Suite. Desiree wasn't quite ready, so we filled in some of the time with some quick test shoots with some agency models from Superior.

At this point we had some technical difficulties - we'd been swapping cards to load the shots as we went and Lightroom on the laptop started to complain that it couldn't read the images. Since it appeared to affect both cards we'd been using it was pretty worrying so I switched to the backup body and a fresh card. Fortunately, this just appears to have been a transient Lightroom glitch - no images were lost (the images could be copied from the card without problem), but it was definitely disconcerting at the time.

In the end we didn't have a lot of time with Desiree in the Corner Suite - we got 26 frames shot in 3 minutes for this lingerie set.

Model: Desiree Worth Make-up and hair: Aileen Wallace Location: Radisson Blu Glasgow Date: 3 October 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

Even though we were rushed, I'm delighted with this set. This was just natural window light for these - no fill flash or reflectors.

We shot in the public mezzanine area after that, but that was primarily Fiona shooting with me as gopher.

On to the Collage Bar, we shot a number of different sets. We were nailing these shots very quickly (frequently we got it on the first frame).

Model: Desiree Worth Make-up and hair: Aileen Wallace Location: Radisson Blu Glasgow Date: 3 October 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie SpenceModel: Desiree Worth Make-up and hair: Aileen Wallace Location: Radisson Blu Glasgow Date: 3 October 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie SpenceModel: Desiree Worth Make-up and hair: Aileen Wallace Location: Radisson Blu Glasgow Date: 3 October 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

Getting the colour balance right on this set was a bit harder on these (not helped with a yellow gel on a secondary flash for the earliest shots).
Model: Desiree Worth Make-up and hair: Aileen Wallace Location: Radisson Blu Glasgow Date: 3 October 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

We finished a long day with a quick second visit to the Corner Suite for this set:

Model: Desiree Worth Make-up and hair: Aileen Wallace Location: Radisson Blu Glasgow Date: 3 October 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

Other than the lingerie set shot with natural light, all the other sets were lit using a single 500EXII in a 60cm softbox (and a second head with a gel for colour in some cases). To make it easy, we used some radio triggers so all the flash power levels were set manually.

It was a long hard day, but I'm delighted with the results. Many thanks to my team (Aileen, Desiree & Fiona) and Greig for making it possible.

[Full Gallery - Desiree Worth at the SCN Radison Blu shoot]

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Rudina Suti - test shoot


Model: Rudina Suti
Make-up and hair: Matilda Sjöblom
Agency: Stolen Model Agency

I don't think I've ever arranged a shoot as quickly - we were all set, including a make-up artist within an hour of Rudina's initial contact. Of course it's never as easy as that - fortunately Matilda was available and it all worked out fine.

We got some really good outdoors shots, but I think I lost my mojo for all but the last of the studio set.

Model: Rudina Suti Make-up and hair: Matilda Sjöblom Agency: Stolen Model Agency Date: 15 September 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie SpenceModel: Rudina Suti Make-up and hair: Matilda Sjöblom Agency: Stolen Model Agency Date: 15 September 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

Model: Rudina Suti Make-up and hair: Matilda Sjöblom Agency: Stolen Model Agency Date: 15 September 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie SpenceModel: Rudina Suti Make-up and hair: Matilda Sjöblom Agency: Stolen Model Agency Date: 15 September 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

Model: Rudina Suti Make-up and hair: Matilda Sjöblom Agency: Stolen Model Agency Date: 15 September 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie SpenceModel: Rudina Suti Make-up and hair: Matilda Sjöblom Agency: Stolen Model Agency Date: 15 September 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence


[Full gallery - Rudina Suti - make-up and hair by Matilda Sjöblom]

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Bogusia Kawczynska - test shoot


Model: Bogusia Kawczynska
Make-up and hair: Matilda Sjöblom
Agency: Colours - The Look Models

With very mixed and changeable weather we took the chance to shoot outdoors at a nearby play-park.

Model: Bogusia Kawczynska Make-up and hair: Matilda Sjöblom Agency: Colours - The Look Models Date: 7 September 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie SpenceModel: Bogusia Kawczynska Make-up and hair: Matilda Sjöblom Agency: Colours - The Look Models Date: 7 September 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

We were lucky with our timing - we were back indoors 5 minutes when the heavens opened.

We continued with some studio work:

Model: Bogusia Kawczynska Make-up and hair: Matilda Sjöblom Agency: Colours - The Look Models Date: 7 September 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie SpenceModel: Bogusia Kawczynska Make-up and hair: Matilda Sjöblom Agency: Colours - The Look Models Date: 7 September 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

[Full Gallery - Bogusia Kawczynska - test shoot]

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Kellie Laplegua and AMF Korsets (NSFW) 27/8/10


I shot with Kellie Laplegua in December last year. She got in touch again because she was visiting Scotland again, but this time she was travelling with Louis Fleischauer, the creator of AMF Korsets (and a whole pile of his work).

It was just a short shoot - white seamless with the single large octabox lighting Kellie and the small softbox keeping the background white.

Kellie Laplegua - AMF Korsets Date: 27 August 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie SpenceKellie Laplegua - AMF Korsets Date: 27 August 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie SpenceKellie Laplegua - AMF Korsets Date: 27 August 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

[Full Gallery - Kellie Laplegua with AMF Korsets]

Friday, 3 September 2010

Mariana Holloway - test shoot


Mariana Holloway from Stolen Model Agency got in touch to arrange a test shoot. It took a long time to arrange and I was lucky to enlist Sarah Viera da Cruz for make-up/hair on a day that Mariana was available.

We had a brief from the agency - "keep it young and fresh with maybe a burst of colour and some movement". We tried, I'm not sure how successfully, but we had fun and created some images we're pleased with.

We started with a brief shoot in Edinburgh to pass some time while Sarah attended an interview:
Model: Mariana Holloway Make-up and hair: Sarah Viera da Cruz Agency: Stolen  Date: 3 September 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie SpenceModel: Mariana Holloway Make-up and hair: Sarah Viera da Cruz Agency: Stolen  Date: 3 September 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

We then hit the studio for a variety of looks:
Model: Mariana Holloway Make-up and hair: Sarah Viera da Cruz Agency: Stolen  Date: 3 September 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie SpenceModel: Mariana Holloway Make-up and hair: Sarah Viera da Cruz Agency: Stolen  Date: 3 September 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

Model: Mariana Holloway Make-up and hair: Sarah Viera da Cruz Agency: Stolen  Date: 3 September 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie SpenceModel: Mariana Holloway Make-up and hair: Sarah Viera da Cruz Agency: Stolen  Date: 3 September 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence



[Mariana Holloway - test shoot - full gallery]

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

I use Photoshop


I encountered a photographer's profile on ModelMayhem with "I DONT USE PHOTO SHOP OR AIRBRUSH" - I'm not sure how that's generally intended to be interpreted.

I shoot raw images and all my shots have had some manipulation in Lightroom and possibly Photoshop. Other than tonal manipulations, the amount of retouching will vary. I'll remove skin blemishes and I'm not adverse to using the liquify filter to tidy an edge or nudge a curve. My intent is always to create images that look realistic - I don't believe I overcook my skin processing and I know that I'm not a good enough retoucher to perform extensive manipulations in liquify. What definitely don't do is create featureless plastic faces or Barbie doll curves.

I don't have a problem with retouching to create a flawless complexion. Done right, it can produce a stunning image. Done badly, it can spoil the image. I regularly see images where I think "lovely shot, but what did you do to her face?!" (I think this is especially true when applied to anything other than a beauty headshot).

My current workflow uses Lightroom extensively. I generally only use Photoshop for pixel editing tasks and almost all other manipulations are performed in Lightroom (some before and some after the Photoshop edit).

My models aren't plastic. I hope I never deliver an image that makes them look it.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The studio


Our studio space has changed a lot over the last year. We've redecorated completely, including the hardwood floor and new woodwork (we'll finish the hall and stairs eventually).

The most recent change is the addition of a pair studio poles to support the rolls of background paper. Previously it was just a single roll of charcoal seamless on my backdrop stands, but that was expensive on floorspace and really required two people to operate - the poles support three rolls of paper (white, charcoal and black) and the expansion drive fittings make it so easy to use. Not only did we get back the floorspace eaten by the legs of the backdrop stands, but we also get close to another foot of shooting distance too.

This is the setup we used for Fiona's shoot with Katy_T - just a single light with the large octagonal softbox.

EntropicTendencies - the studio space

The window (behind me in that shot) gives lots of nice light too. The floor and the neutral wall feature in lots of recent shoots.

The room is about 18' x 12' - the 50mm lens can get a lot of use for full length shots, but often 70mm is ok for shorter models.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Gear, fanboys and foolishness


"Canon" ... that's my answer when asked what gear I use. For some reason, many people want more details (as if the image is special because of the camera/lens used). It's amazing how many photographers are fixated on the gear (and endlessly discussing it on Internet forums). I must admit that I like new kit and technology, but I've long grown past the point where I have the time and inclination to debate it (or watch others debate it).

The camera is just a tool. The more expensive gear might offer higher resolution and better image quality, but it doesn't compose better shots. Of course the higher end kit does generally handle better and, for something like moving horses, the auto-focus doesn't miss as often - that means more good shots. So, the high-end gear might make it easier to get some shots, but it doesn't actually make more striking photographs (pixel-peeping doesn't count).

I made a choice of Canon when I first bought a dSLR (the competing Nikon offering back then wasn't as appealing). For anyone with a reasonable investment in gear, I can't see any sensible justification to even consider changing brand (and there isn't any point in shouting about it in forums).

It's the same with computers. I'm now switching to a Mac laptop - mainly because I've outgrown my current Dell Windows laptop and the Macbook looks to be the right tool to do what I need. Just like camera gear, so many people have their small-minded biases. When I spend most of my time in e-mail/browser/Lightroom/Photoshop, it really doesn't matter what's under the hood (as long as it just does the job). I'll still use Windows (I can't see me justifying the funds to replace my desktop PC with a Mac any time soon!) and I run a mixed Windows/UNIX server infrastructure.

Feel free to spend all your time in web forums, but I'd rather spend my time taking photos.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Chrissie Red (NSFW) 18/8/10


I've admired Chrissie Red's work since I joined UKPM last year. I think it's largely been a matter of timing that I hadn't arranged a shoot before now.

There was a possibility that I was going to shoot some headshots for a MUA in Glasgow, but since that was just jerking me around I decided that now was the time to arrange a shoot with Chrissie. Since we confirmed it the day before, this wasn't overly planned - I'd collect Chrissie in Perth, we'd go to the beach and then we'd wing it.

After a long trek through the woods and up the beach we found these concrete blocks to work with:

Chrissie Red - beach nude Date: 18 August 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

After a while we moved on and found some trees:

Chrissie Red - beach nude Date: 18 August 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

It was a good day out - lots of good shots and fresh air. There are more shots in the full gallery and I'll add more later.

[Full Gallery - Chrissie Red nudes]

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Katy_T nudes 11/8/10 & 12/8/10 (NSFW)


Katy_T is based out of Arizona, but she visits the UK a couple of times a year and suggested that I might want to shoot with her when she was in Scotland. We split a full day shoot between the Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

The plan was a mixture of studio and outdoors - I'd found a couple of locations, but given the changeable weather we really couldn't plan it exactly.

As it turned out, the weather really didn't really look like it was going to work for us on the Thursday afternoon, so that made it an easy decision - we'd start in the studio. Again, just like other recent shoots, it was a very simple environment - bare wall, hardwood floor and lots of natural light from the window.

Katy_T studio nude - natural light Date: 12 August 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

These two were actually taken on the Friday morning when we had space to use the door frame:
Katy_T studio nude - natural light Date: 13 August 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie SpenceKaty_T studio nude - natural light Date: 13 August 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

This is our first shot outdoors on the Friday morning:
Katy_T woodland nude Date: 13 August 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

We also spent some time on the bridge over the canal:
Katy_T woodland nude Date: 13 August 2010 © Copyright 2010 Barrie Spence

Kate had another shoot booked in the afternoon, so we finished a bit early - with the plan to use the remaining time in the evening after dinner ... but it ended up with Fiona shooting that bit (studio: single big softbox and white seamless), so those are her pictures to process and display.

There are more shots in the full gallery and a whole pile more that deserve to be displayed - I'll post more when it's a rainy day.

[Full Gallery - Katy_T nudes]